An Inside Peek At Insider Inc.’s Plan To Woo Advertisers

Business Insider’s parent company, Insider Inc., launched its first-ever ad campaign on Wednesday to make sure its ad partners know what the heck it is.

The campaign, created with help from Publicis-owned agency Digitas, includes a new corporate website and a media push targeting agencies with display and video ads across trade pubs, Facebook and its own in-house publications.

The tagline is “Get In” – as in, get in and start reaching an engaged audience.

But Insider Inc.’s corporate structure was, frankly, a little confusing.

In December, the publisher unveiled the new corporate identity to house its mushrooming assortment of products, including its flagship Business Insider title; Insider, its site for lifestyle content, including health, food, travel and culture; its event business; and a research arm.

Jenifer Berman, SVP of marketing at Business Insider, is well aware that advertisers might not be 100% clear on how to engage with BI and its consumer-facing sister brands since the corporate rebrand.

“We’re looking to clarify the unification between Business Insider and Insider,” she said. “They’re part of the same company, they share the same ambition and, most importantly, they share the same audience.”

Its digitally savvy audience of 350 million global monthly uniques don’t just care about business and finance news, Berman said. The people reading about a merger or a new startup on BI are the same people reading about the best chocolate milkshakes or “Stranger Things” recaps on Insider – they’re just in a different mood.

“We think about audience less through a demographic lens and more through a psychographic lens,” Berman said. “The brands remain distinct, but the audience attributes are the same.”

Advertiser partners are starting to get it, and it’s a cross-selling point for Insider Inc.’s sales team.

“There’s a continuity of audience you can get through our sites, whether you’re a B2B advertiser or a consumer-facing brand,” Berman said. “That helps us convert larger brands and demonstrate the value of advertising across our sites through different lenses.”

Programmatic and content partnerships with brands are both crucial legs of Insider Inc.’s monetization strategy, but advertising is not the only egg in the basket, Berman said.

In November, a sizable portion of Business Insider’s more specialized content slipped behind a paywall with its BI Prime subscription offering. BI declined to share how many subscribers it has so far, but Berman said that cloistering certain content has helped boost signups. When a gated story gets good pickup, such as BI’s recent deep dive of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, there’s an immediate uptick in BI Prime membership.

But there are still some kinks to work out. For example, the paywall loads so slowly in some cases that a thrifty reader can find ways around it.

“We’re continually refining our strategy,” Berman said.

Although monetization is always a work in progress, the results are there. The company says overall revenue grew 45% in 2017 compared to the year before. Now it’s time to double down, Berman said.

“We’re going to keep growing awareness for our bands and for our audience,” she said. “It’s all about focusing on the promise of what Insider Inc.’s grown to be and on helping our clients reach progress-minded consumers.”

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